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James Newman
A Liberal’s Libretto, August 2012

Recently released on the Newton Classics label, Frederica von Stade: Duets, Arias, Scenes & Songs is a 4-disc set that wonderfully captures a snapshot of Frederica von Stade’s one-of-a-kind artistry and demonstrates the technical prowess on which this star mezzo-soprano built her stellar career.

Brilliantly paired with soprano Judith Blegen, disc 1 showcases a wealth of beauty and an attention to detail that we so rarely see in today’s current array of singers. Recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, this recording ranges from purely stunning Robert Schumann duets, to von Stade’s first recording of Cherubino’s “Non so piu”—an arrangement by Mozart for violin and piano.

Joining forces with mezzo-soprano Janice Taylor [on disc 2], von Stade also amazes in Monteverdi’s “Torna, torna” from Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. The use of breath control—and thus, legato line—leaves me with a severe case of goosebumps. No joke.

Showing off her stunning aptitude for the Art Song, Frederica von Stade gives us quite an array of heartfelt songs from John Dowland, Henry Purcell, Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy, Joseph Canteloube and Carol Hall. Accompanied by master-collaborator Martin Katz, the Song Recital recording on disc 3 is sure to inspire you to pull out your Art Song books and get to work. © 2012 A Liberal’s Libretto Read complete review

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10:09:07 AM, 28 March 2015
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